Sukhoi Civil Aircraft announced that, at the request of CityJet, the SSJ can now operate from runways that are only 30m wide. This new EASA allowance enables the airline to deploy the aircraft in a number of important airports, most crucially, London City.
SuperJet and Sukhoi are working on the steep approach to London City as an additional tweak on the SSJ according to SuperJet CEO Nazario Cauceglia. As we heard at Farnborough, the SSJ is also going to get winglets produced by Sukhoi.
The SSJ now has two influential western customers helping to advance the aircraft’s development. InterJet in Mexico and Eire based CityJet will ensure the aircraft becomes more acceptable to other western airlines. Airlines in southwestern Europe are watching the developments with growing interest. The SSJ offers an ever more compelling combination of size, performance and pricing.
As the SSJ performance is expanded, a number of airlines in southern Europe and even in Africa will start to consider the aircraft a viable option. Africa has long been a market where familiarity with robust Russian-made aircraft is widespread. The SSJ is clearly an order of magnitude more modern, with state of the art systems and engines. The SSJ will check many of the key decision boxes for African airlines.